Arts & Events

Press Release: Berkeley Symphony Announces 2012-2013 Season

From Jenny Lee, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra
Tuesday May 15, 2012 - 01:49:00 PM

Music Director Joana Carneiro and Berkeley Symphony today announced programming for the 2012–2013 Season, including a world premiere commission on each of the four subscription concerts. Maestra Carneiro’s critically acclaimed partnership with Berkeley Symphony will continue for an additional five years with the announcement that her contract has been renewed through the 2016–2017 Season.  

Recognized for its exuberant spirit and steadfast commitment to presenting original and unique programs, including ASCAP awards for adventurous programming in eight of the past eleven seasons, Berkeley Symphony continues this commitment with a 2012–13 Season that combines new works from Steven Stucky, Dylan Mattingly, Andreia Pinto-Correia and Paul Dresher, along with masterworks such as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4, Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, and Schumann’s Symphony No. 2. Internationally renowned artists Shai Wosner and Lynn Harrell join the orchestra to perform György Ligeti’s Piano Concerto and Witold Lutosławski’s Cello Concerto. 


Paul Dresher, a composer whose music is acclaimed for its exceptional individuality and beauty, will present a new work to open the season featuring two of his unique invented instruments: the  

Quadrachord, a stringed instrument resembling a guitar that can be plucked or bowed, and the Hurdy Grande, a larger version of the traditional stringed music instruments that produces sound by a crank-turned rosined wheel. Steven Stucky will participate in an extended residency throughout the season, which includes his participation on the adjudication panel to choose composers for the orchestra’s Under Construction New Music Series/Composers Program and the incorporation of his recorder concerto, Etudes, in Berkeley Symphony’s Music in the Schools program. The composer, a world-renowned expert on the music of Witold Lutosławski and a recipient of the Lutosławski Society’s 

medal, will be in residence during the February concert week, facilitating the pre-concert talk and participating in other artistic activities. Stucky will continue his residency in April, at the world premiere of his own work, The Stars and the Roses, a song cycle for tenor and orchestra set to the poetry of Nobel Prize–winning poet Czesław Miłosz, featuring former Adler Fellow Noah Stewart. 


“I am thrilled that the incredible chemistry I feel with this orchestra is recognized by our audiences,” says Music Director Joana Carneiro. “I am humbled by how openly our musicians embrace adventures and I revel in their virtuosity. Nothing is too challenging, whether it is a complicated new work or a masterpiece like Bruckner 4. With this orchestra and audience, I feel free to express myself as an artist and musical leader and I’m deeply honored to continue my association here.” 


Berkeley Symphony’s acclaimed initiative focusing on composers and new works continues in the 2012–13 Season. The Under Construction New Music Series/Composers Program is designed to foster an appreciation of modern symphonic music among a new generation of listeners and to serve as an artistic incubator for emerging Bay Area composers to experiment with symphonic music writing. It was this program that introduced Berkeley Symphony to young composer Dylan Mattingly in 2005.  


The 2012–13 Season also brings an expansion of Berkeley Symphony’s already vigorous education program, which serves all eleven public elementary schools in Berkeley. The nationally recognized program consists of musician classroom visits, instrument lessons, and performance opportunities for students from kindergarten through the fifth grade. The students grow with the program year after year, building on their knowledge while learning with and performing alongside the orchestra. This season, the Music in the Schools program will incorporate composer Steven Stucky’s recorder concerto, Etudes, as part of the in-class curriculum to demonstrate the different musical elements. Suzanne McCulloch, Berkeley Unified School District’s Visual and Performing Arts Supervisor, called Berkeley Symphony’s music education programs “an invaluable asset.”  


“The 2012–13 Season firmly establishes Berkeley Symphony’s ‘mission to commission’ under the artistic leadership of Joana Carneiro,” says Executive Director René Mandel, “and I’m extremely grateful that major funding institutions such as the Hewlett Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Creative Work Fund and New Music USA are taking note of our commitment to the music of our time. Each of our subscription concerts is programmed with a distinct flavor, offering our audiences unique insights into symphonic music by setting side by side the great masterpieces of the standard repertoire with brand-new or rarely performed works. We are fortunate to have passionate and committed audiences, and we strive, at each concert, to leave them challenged and delighted.” 



Berkeley Symphony opens the 2012–13 Season on Thursday, October 4, 2012, with a world premiere by Paul Dresher, featuring the composer in performance with the orchestra on two of his unique invented instruments: the Hurdy Grande and the Quadrachord. The opening night program begins with Charles Ives’s The Unanswered Question, scored for flutes, strings and trumpet. Musicologist Jan Swafford describes the powerful piece: “Entirely with tones and a simple dramatic program, Ives makes a philosophical point: a question is better than an answer, in the immensity of creation. And those determined to force the answers are apt to look foolish in the face of that immensity. In all his work Ives was getting at something, always in his singular way. In The Unanswered Question we see the elements of his art in a nutshell: a work at once timeless and revolutionary, spiritual and concrete, comic and cosmic.” Beethoven’s glorious Symphony No. 7 concludes the program. 


On Thursday, December 6, 2012, Joana Carneiro and Berkeley Symphony will celebrate both the newest voices of contemporary music and one the most timeless masterpieces of classic repertoire. The evening begins with a world premiere commission from Dylan Mattingly, a 21-year-old Bay Area native who serves as co-artistic director of New York’s new music group Contemporaneous. Mattingly, a student at Bard College Conservatory of Music and a protégé of John Adams, was first introduced to Berkeley Symphony in 2005 through his participation in the Under Construction New Music Series. “Dylan Mattingly is a hugely talented young composer who writes music of wild imagination and vigorous energy,” said John Adams. “Having grown up in Berkeley, he is now a major player in the New York underground scene, part of a generation of new composers who are already making their mark on contemporary music. It’s exciting to watch him at this important stage in his development.” Young Israeli pianist Shai Wosner joins the orchestra for György Ligeti’s intricate Piano Concerto, considered by the composer to be his most complex and demanding score. The program concludes with Schumann’s Symphony No. 2, a favorite of Music Director Joana Carneiro. 


Joana Carneiro will lead Berkeley Symphony on Thursday, February 7, 2013, in a program featuring a new work by Portuguese composer Andreia Pinto-Correia, co-commissioned with the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon. Reflecting her common heritage with Carneiro, the work is inspired by the charismatic Lisbon neighborhoods and the fado melodies found in traditional Portuguese folk music. The composer’s work has been called “mysterious, elegant, magical” by New Music Box and like “an aural fabric of piercing sustained harmonies, restless melodic bits and gurgling instrumental bursts” by the New York Times. Maestra Carneiro will lead the European premiere in Lisbon in April 2013. World-renowned cellist Lynn Harrell, a consummate soloist, chamber musician, recitalist, conductor and teacher, joins Berkeley Symphony to perform Lutosławski’s Cello Concerto. Written originally for Mstislav Rostropovich, the work “brims with muscular themes, splendid orchestration, vibrant colors, exciting rhythms…and is quite reminiscent of Bartók’s famous work of the same name” (Blair Sanderson, All Music). Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, a lively and lush orchestral suite based largely on Russian folk and sacred music, completes the program.  


Joana Carneiro and Berkeley Symphony conclude the 2012–13 Season at Zellerbach Hall with a fourth commission on Thursday, April 4, 2013. Pulitzer Prize–winner Steven Stucky’s new work for tenor and orchestra, The Stars and the Roses, features the poetry of Nobel Prize–winning Polish poet and former UC Berkeley professor Czesław Miłosz. Noah Stewart, who recently made his debut at London’s Royal Opera House and was a former San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow, joins the orchestra for these performances. Bruckner’s magnificent Symphony No. 4, also known as the Romantic and one of the composer’s most celebrated works, completes the program. 



Berkeley Symphony will present two Under Construction concerts on Sundays, December 9, 2012, and April 7, 2013, respectively. One of the few programs of its kind nationwide, Under Construction reflects the orchestra’s decades-long commitment to cultivate the next generation of composers and audiences of new music by presenting the works of emerging Bay Area composers in open rehearsal–style concerts. Selected composers will participate in the yearlong mentorship program. Each will write a substantial symphonic work and receive artistic and career guidance from Music Director Joana Carneiro and composer Gabriela Lena Frank as well as from orchestra musicians and guest composers. The composers for the 2012–13 Under Construction Series will be announced in early September. 



As part of the Symphony’s effort to expand the music repertoire in the schools, every third grader in the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) will learn to play the recorder, using Steven Stucky’s recorder concerto, Etudes, as a way to teach young people about various musical elements including rhythm, tempo and melody. Since 1992, Berkeley Symphony’s Music in the Schools program, in partnership with the BUSD, has provided a comprehensive, hands-on and age-appropriate music curriculum to elementary school students in Berkeley. This award-winning program includes more than twenty interactive in-school concerts and hundreds of classroom musician visits. In addition, Berkeley Symphony will continue to host its annual “Meet the Symphony” and “I’m a Performer” Family Concerts on Saturdays, November 3, 2012, and April 13, 2013, respectively. The latter concert will be a community collaboration in which both adults and children are invited to perform with the orchestra.  



Funding for Berkeley Symphony’s 2012–13 season comes in part from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The $150,000 grant over a three-year period will provide support to the Symphony’s collaborations with world-class artists, the commissioning of local and international composers, and its award-winning Music in the Schools education program. Paul Dresher’s commission is also supported by the Creative Work Fund (a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and The James Irvine Foundation). The Residency of Steven Stucky is made possible through Music Alive, a residency program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA. This national program is designed to provide orchestras with resources and tools to support their presentation of new music to the public and build support for new music within their institutions. Funding for Music Alive is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and The ASCAP Foundation. The Symphony also received an additional grant for both commissioning projects from the National Endowment for the Arts.  



As Music Director, Joana Carneiro has captivated the public with her commanding stage presence and adventurous programming that has highlighted the works of several prominent contemporary composers, including John Adams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Gabriela Lena Frank. Maestra Carneiro’s commitment to expanding the community base of Berkeley Symphony and upholding the orchestra’s artistic excellence was recognized by the League of American Orchestras, which honored her with the Helen M. Thompson Award in 2010. She was appointed Music Director of Berkeley Symphony in January 2009, succeeding Kent Nagano as only the third Music Director in the 40-year history of the orchestra. 


Noted for her vibrant performances in a wide diversity of musical styles, Joana Carneiro is considered one of the most exciting and outstanding young conductors today. Prior to her Berkeley Symphony appointment, she served as Assistant Conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 2005 to 2008, where she worked closely with Esa-Pekka Salonen and led performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. Together with her leadership in Berkeley, she is the official guest conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra in her native Lisbon and an active guest conductor worldwide.  


Increasingly in demand as an opera conductor, Carneiro made her Cincinnati Opera debut in June 2011, conducting John Adams’s A Flowering Tree, which she also recently debuted with Chicago Opera Theater and La Cité de la Musique in Paris. In January 2010, Carneiro led performances of Peter Sellars’s stagings of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex and Symphony of Psalms at the Sydney Festival. In 2008–2009, she worked again with Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Paris Opera’s premiere of Adriana Mater by Kaija Saariaho, where she served as assistant conductor, and led critically acclaimed performances of Philippe Boesmans’s Julie in Bolzano, Italy. 



Founded in 1969 as the Berkeley Promenade Orchestra, Berkeley Symphony has established a reputation for presenting major new works for orchestra alongside fresh interpretations of the classic European repertoire. Berkeley Symphony has been recognized in eight of the past ten seasons with an Award for Adventurous Programming from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). In addition to its subscription concerts and UnderConstructionSeries, Berkeley Symphony regularly partners with Cal Performances, the performing arts presenter and producer of the University of California, Berkeley, to provide music for visiting artists. Berkeley Symphony’s award-winning yearlong Music in the Schools program reaches every public elementary school student in Berkeley. San Francisco public radio station KALW 91.7 FM is Berkeley Symphony’s broadcast partner, airing all Berkeley Symphony subscription concerts. 



2012–13 season subscriptions to the Zellerbach Hall Concert Series (4 concerts) will go on sale on Tuesday, May 15. Prices range from $30 to $244. Half-priced packages are available for first-time subscribers and full-time students. Subscribers can save up to 50% off single ticket prices, and enjoy a 10% discount on additional single ticket purchases throughout the season, as well as 50% off Under Construction Series priority admission. The Under Construction New Music Series tickets are $20 for priority admission and $10 for regular admission. The Family Concerts tickets are $5 for children under 18 and $10 for adults. All single tickets will go on sale August 15, 2012. Orders for 2012–13 season subscriptions can be placed online at, over the phone at (510) 841-2800, faxed to Berkeley Symphony’s box office at (510) 841-5422, or mailed to 1942 University Avenue, Suite 207, Berkeley, CA 94704. Students with a valid student I.D. receive a 50% discount. Discounts are also available for groups of six or more. For more information or to request a brochure, call Berkeley Symphony at (510) 841-2800, e-mail, or visit  



Zellerbach Hall Concert Series 


Season Opening Concert 

Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 7 pm 


Performers Joana Carneiro, conductor 

Paul Dresher, soloist 


Program Charles Ives, The Unanswered Question 

Paul Dresher, New Work (World Premiere Commission) 

Beethoven, Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92 


Zellerbach Hall Concert II 

Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 8 pm 


Performers Joana Carneiro, conductor 

Shai Wosner, piano 


Program Dylan Mattingly, New Work (World Premiere Commission) 

György Ligeti, Piano Concerto 

Schumann, Symphony No. 2 in C Major, Op. 61 


Zellerbach Hall Concert III 

Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 8 pm 


Performers Joana Carneiro, conductor 

Lynn Harrell, cello 


Program Andreia Pinto-Correia, New Work (World Premiere Commission) 

Witold Lutosławski, Cello Concerto 

Rachmaninoff, Symphonic Dances, Op. 45 


Zellerbach Hall Concert IV 

Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 8 pm 


Performers Joana Carneiro, conductor 

Noah Stewart, tenor 


Program Steven Stucky, The Stars and the Roses (World Premiere Commission) 

Bruckner, Symphony No. 4 in E-flat Major, Romantic 


Pre-concert lectures begin at 7:10 pm on December 6, February 7, and April 4. 


Under Construction New Music Series  

Dates Sunday, December 9, 2012 

Sunday, April 7, 2013 


Time 7 pm 


Location To be determined 


Tickets $20 Priority Admission / $10 Regular Admission 

Available by phone at (510) 841-2800 or online at 


Family Concerts 

Dates Saturday, November 3, 2012, “Meet the Symphony”  

Saturday, April 13, 2013, “I’m a Performer”  


Times 10 am and 11:30 am 


Location Malcolm X Elementary School Auditorium 

1731 Prince Street, Berkeley 


Tickets $10 Adult / $5 Child 

Available by phone at (510) 841-2800 or online at